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Tigers may challenge umpire abuse fine

Date

Caroline Wilson

Richmond’s Dustin Martin tries to break a tackle during the loss to Fremantle.

Richmond’s Dustin Martin tries to break a tackle during the loss to Fremantle. Photo: Joe Armao

RICHMOND is looking at challenging the $5000 fine imposed on the club after the AFL found one of its staff had abused a field umpire at the end of the Tigers-Fremantle round 11 clash at the MCG.

The Age understands that long-time club trainer Sam Pupillo remains adamant he did not direct a cheating accusation towards the game's field umpires after the club's 12-point defeat.

Pupillo, a virtual volunteer with the club, has stood by his version of events despite being warned by the club he could lose his job should it appeal on his behalf and be proved wrong.

He claims he directed his comments at Fremantle personnel - calling them cheats - as they were leaving the ground and that the umpires were 30 metres away.

It is the second time this season the club has been penalised by the AFL for umpire abuse.

On the first occasion, coach Damien Hardwick swore at an emergency umpire towards the end of the third quarter of last month's Dreamtime Game.

Hardwick was originally fined $5000 also, but after pleading his case to the AFL, football boss Adrian Anderson suspended the fine for a three-year period.

The Tigers coach was forced to make a formal apology to the umpires. He will umpire a game of football as part of his sanction later this season.

The Pupillo incident three weeks later saw Richmond eight days ago issued with a ''please explain''.

The club responded by explaining Pupillo's version of events. While the trainer remains adamant he did not abuse umpires, the AFL chose to believe its own official who heard the comment and remains equally adamant it was aimed not at Fremantle staff or players but at him.

Anderson, who said the league had taken into account that the previous incident was Hardwick's first offence, said the Tigers were within their rights to appeal the fine but confirmed the club risked a bigger fine should the abuse charge stand.

The Tigers will decide before Friday whether or not to appeal on behalf of their trainer but should the fine stand the club will pay it on his behalf.

After the Hardwick incident Anderson said: ''Regulations such as these exist because of the need for the AFL competition to set a positive example on conduct towards umpires.''

The AFL match review panel on Monday found that Richmond forward Shane Edwards had no case to answer following suggestions he had made contact with umpire Matt Stevic's chest during the Greater Western Sydney game at Skoda Stadium. Stevic had no recollection of the incident.

Negligent contact with an umpire draws a fine of $1200, with reckless contact incurring a $2600 fine.

16 comments so far

  • Anyone who has watched the last few weeks would know the AFL are the ones who should be issuing Richmond with an apology over recent umpiring.

    Commenter
    cardtrader
    Location
    Richmond
    Date and time
    June 20, 2012, 8:33AM
    • Whinge, whinge, whinge, whinge, whinge.

      Commenter
      Ross
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      June 20, 2012, 12:07PM
    • Hey Ross - keep your stream of anti-Vic (Sydney-centric?) comments to yourself because no-one cares.

      Commenter
      cardtrader
      Location
      Richmond
      Date and time
      June 20, 2012, 12:36PM
  • There appears to be an umpiring vendetta against Richmond atm someone has their nose out of joint in the umpiring fraternity.

    Commenter
    Bingo
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    June 20, 2012, 8:52AM
    • The Umps blatently favored the Bombers against us earlier this year. The umps played as extra men for the Weagles V Carlton in Perth on Friday night.
      If the AFL can fine clubs for wrongs, then the reverse shouls also apply for incorrect sirens, rubbish umpiring, and executive arrogance. Where do we collect?

      Commenter
      steveho
      Location
      logan
      Date and time
      June 20, 2012, 9:21AM
      • Jeff Gieschen stuffed Richmond as a Coach and is now doing his best to hurt us on the field through his brain washed umpire brigade. That's what it feels like anyway. Anyone who has watched the Tiges past two games knows what Im talking about. Some of the free kicks paid against us lately have been nothing short of a disgrace. Umps miss calls, make mistakes, but most of the time it goes both ways. You wear it. When its blatantly one sided, well that's when you are going to cop a fair amount of abuse umpires. All we want is a fair go. LIft your game or suffer the abuse. I'd hate to see a team lose a GF on the back of some poor and one sided umpiring. You'll have a riot on your hands... Geisch, stop changing the interpretations!! Leave the game alone, your umps don't have a clue what they are doing out there at the moment and its because of the constant interpretation changes!!!

        Commenter
        Peddles
        Location
        Melbourne
        Date and time
        June 20, 2012, 9:37AM
        • Peddles, my favorite was the audio after the Jake king holding the ball. Umpire- "you dove on it" King- "I was standing up" Umpire- "You cant dive on the footy whether you're on the ground or standing up". Of course I paraphrase but that's how it went and I still can not understand how one can dive on something whilst standing up. And don't get me started on Batchelors deliberate. It was a fumble on a wet day when it was in the players best interest to keep the ball in play

          Commenter
          Mick
          Location
          Melb
          Date and time
          June 20, 2012, 10:14AM
        • King has to get his head torn off to get a free. If he gets a neck injury I hope he sues the AFL for a negligent workplace.

          Commenter
          ASD
          Date and time
          June 20, 2012, 2:34PM
        • Its true. Kingy gets a raw deal every week. He plays hard, but he doesn't stage or try to milk free kicks like some other players (from other teams) do. He's an honest, tough player who the umpires absolutely hate. The game needs larger than life players like him. Give the man a fair go, cause right now, every time he goes near the ball the umps are quick to find 'something' against him.... absolute joke. Never seen one player victimised as much as him.

          Commenter
          Peddles
          Date and time
          June 20, 2012, 3:11PM
      • It seems amazing to me that Richmond can be fined $5,000 for one of its trainers calling the umpires cheats on the field yet the Carlton players that did via twitter to the general public only got fined $2,500.
        The only reason the trainers comments became public knowledge is because the AFL fined the club and brought it to the medias attention.

        Commenter
        Mark
        Location
        South Yarra
        Date and time
        June 20, 2012, 12:04PM

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